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September 21, 2007

World Cat 246 Dual Console

World Cat's new 246 DC combines the company's proven, patented 24-foot Vectorflo catamaran hull design with a dual-console setup (the other version of this hull model features a center console). A major benefit of the new layout is extra cockpit space, since the dual consoles sit farther forward than the center console does. Additionally, World Cat has added several serious fishing-oriented features to the transom bulkhead.

Need fishbox capacity? World Cat's got you covered. A 300-quart insulated fishbox in the bulkhead drains overboard and is big enough to handle large wahoo or tuna. There's also a 34-gallon insulated cooler to port, which can be plumbed as a live well.

The optional padded coaming bolsters on our test boat made fishing more comfortable, and an optional flip-up transom seat provided a convenient place for passengers to ride while underway. The under-gunwale rod racks held three rods per side.

Twin pedestal seats at the consoles feature plush padding for maximum comfort. Visibility is great from either seat, through the wraparound aluminum windshield. The center of the windshield folds to one side so you can easily access the bow area, and the helm is ergonomically designed for ease of use. Everything is clearly visible and within easy reach.

Roomy Head Compartment

The best feature in the console area is the portside head compartment located in front of the passenger seat.But the best feature in the console area is the portside head compartment located in front of the passenger seat. This substantial space in the port hull contains a porta potty, and is roomy enough that most adults would be able to stand upright.

In the bow, a U-shaped seating area covered by thick cushions provides a comfortable place to hang out, and if you leave the cushions at home you've got yourself quite a nice casting platform. There's a ton of storage up here too, with a very deep, carpeted area inside the starboard hull that extends aft beneath the helm. You can store up to nine rods in here, or a whole bunch of loose gear. A similar compartment to port is equally deep, but doesn't extend as far aft because of the head.

Exemplary Ride

World Cat 246 SpecificationsRunning the 246 in Miami's Intracoastal Waterway with a pair of 140-hp Suzuki outboards, we recorded a cruise speed of 25.4 mph at 4000 rpm. Wide-open, the boat hit 40.1 mph at 5700 rpm. Like its center console sibling, the DC rode through the stiff northwest chop as if it wasn't there. The twin semi-displacement hulls slice through waves rather than pounding into them, and the ride was exemplary. The boat maneuvered easily, and took the seas at all angles like a champ, throwing up minimal spray.

Like all World Cats, the 246 DC features a lengthy standard-equipment list and outstanding fit and finish. Options include the live well plumbing, a Clarion stereo with six-CD changer, and coaming pads.

There's no encapsulated wood in a World Cat. Instead, the company uses a proprietary synthetic polymer as a core material. This provides excellent strength while saving weight at the same time.

It's clear that Forrest Munden and the crew at World Cat have another winner on their hands. The 246 was designed to appeal to cruisers and hard-core fishermen alike, and both are sure to be pleased with the end result, as there is something here for everyone.

World Class Catamarans, Greenville, NC; (252) 754-1948; http://www.worldclasscatamarans.com/.